Saturday, August 29, 2009

it's too late...

... to be using a rotary cutter ... way, way, way too late ... i was working on mr. husker's homestead most of the day ... it's too late to use the camera, too ... i have had to undo too many mistakes to try any more piecing tonight ... i did get two pine trees and a plain old deciduous tree put together this afternoon ... and the garden ... and i discovered that i made the bands of cows and calves two inches too small ... snip snip snip .... rip rip rip ... zip zip zip ... then clean up the snippets and brush off my clothes and swiffer the floor and try again ... and again ... and yet again ...... so i decided to read some blogs ... Mama Spark is having a 400th post giveaway - she has a beautiful collection of Robyn Pandolph christmas fat quarters ... Kim is having another giveaway, too - i think the shelves in her sweatshop should be pretty doggone bare ... Viridian is having a giveaway - including some awesome poison green fabric ... Kellie is having a giveaway - her Lilly Pilly quilt - i have always (well ... maybe not always ... since i have no idea if there really is such a thing) wanted a lilly pilly tree (sigh) ... and the Fat Quarter Shop is having a giveaway - it's a $100 gift certificate - that would be a great start for the new Thimbleberries Village Green BOM ...... Dawn has twenty deep thoughts brought on by some pinot sumpin sumpin ... and Shannon has a link to Quilts with Love and the story of how Vivian was dazzled by the eight quilters who interpreted the Twilight saga into a fabric work of art which she made even more wonderful with her longarm quilting - it is stunning and awesome and really, really, really cool!!!
and now i'm gonna do what LuLu does when it's too late...sleep tight!

please note: the actual link to the Fat Quarter shop giveaway is here ... but if you enter and post about it on your blog you need to use the link listed above for it to count as extra entries ... so do it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

stuck in the middle

it has been months since i posted about mr. husker's homestead ... i was stuck ... i put some trees together and then decided that it needed a lake (since there is a lake - well, midwesterners would call it a little pond, but it is a lake here in the foothills - near the real life homestead ... and since mr. husker likes to fish - not in the lake by his home because i think all it has in it are carp and a few minnows - at Lake McConaughy) ... but i couldn't figure out how to stretch a lake all the way across the quilt without it looking dorky ... i searched for landscape quilts with lakes and rivers and saw that most of them had water framed with trees ...... more trees ...... hmmm ...... i found this cool site with free patterns and printed out some paper-pieced willows ... after piecing the willow trees, i taped them up on the magic shop's door (which was serving as a design wall) and stood back to look at them ...... hmmm ...... just didn't look like trees to me ... so i put all of it away and didn't think about it anymore since i was so far behind on everything else and i don't really need mr. husker's quilt till the end of march ...... but this morning i was gifted with three blissfully unplanned hours ...what to do? what to do? pull weeds and water ... after about 30 minutes of that nonsense, i came inside and took another look at those willow trees ... and i decided that they didn't look too bad after all ... so i cut some strips of the water batik and started putting the next band of the homestead together...i think that sun is pretty doggone cool - kinda looks like colorado's flag ... but opposite
...when the unplanned hours ran out, i did what i had to do ...... and then i finished adding the background fence in front of the lake ... the green rectangles in the water are gonna have fish quilted onto them ...... the bottom part of the quilt is still in bits and pieces ... i have to make a flagpole and another tree or two or ten ... and figure out the garden ... and a whole bunch of other stuff ... but i'm not stuck in the middle anymore

Monday, August 24, 2009

round 'em up

i made some progress on the wintergraphix 2 quilt (using the world famous Kim's famous Fireworks! pattern) during the past week...
note to self - pieced borders are just as much work as the center of the quilt
...the pieced border uses eight of the half star sections and two of each of the quarter star mirror image sections ...... time to audition fabrics for the inner border...
Auntia likes the gold... i like the blue snowflakes...and i like the gold ... so i decided to not decide ...... Auntia took some time away from reading the Twilight series and finished piecing her inner star, but i didn't get a picture of it before she folded it up and wandered off to read some more...
note to self - do not get any more bright ideas about making 6 blocks each month for a year with no more than the vaguest plan of using two colors
i am caught up on the pink and orange BOMS and the required BOM for the first saturday of the month sampler and...
whose bright idea was it to quilt fireworks on each of those blocks?!?
...i finally finished quilting the fireworks on the red, white, blue and pooh quilt that has been on the quilting frame since may ... it is from the same Bonnie mystery that Auntia followed to make the mermaid quilt ... this is gonna be her fourth of july quilt someday ... i still have to do the stitch in the ditch quilting (groan) and then figure out something for the borders ... but i am happy to have it off of the frame and not glaring at me with its Pooh and Tigger eyes...

grrr ... who put those triangle in the wrong place ... and double grrr ... who stretched those bias edges?!?
and i made the Saturday Sampler 3 for the second saturday BOM block ... twice ... i took the first attempt apart and fixed the misplaced pieces ... and then i made it all over again because i didn't like how the bias edges stretched ... but i whacked too close to one of the points on the second attempt and it will be impossible to meet ... i dunno if i am up to trying it a third time since it seems that i keep making it worse...

Gumdrop's first day of first grade and NoJo's first day of third grade
Gumdrop and NoJo started school last week ... LuLu went in for her 4 month checkup and the shots that go with it...

her two month bandaids and her four month bandaids ... poor little baby girl
...poor Mrs. Moth ... LuLu doesn't let her mother get very much sleep ... she has reflux and it is making her miserable ... but the doctor said that her development is phenomenal ... of course, we already knew that LuLu is a PHENOMENAL BABY!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

jolly good penguin

have you ever wondered why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica? where do they go?
it is a well-known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird, living an extremely ordered and complex life ... the penguin is very committed to its family and mates for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life ... when a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, members of its family and social circle have been known to dig a hole in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be placed for burial ... the male penguins then gather in a circle around the freshly dug grave and sing:
"freeze a jolly good fellow"
and then they kick him in the ice hole

this post was brought to you by one of my odd email buddies

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

michael myson

today is my youngest son's birthday ... and by the time i post this, he will be EXACTLY 27 years old...
Michael Myson and his little niece, LuLu
..when Michael was Mikey, he waited till i was busy in the basement with laundry ... he picked up his new baby sister ... he dropped his new baby sister ... on the floor ... on her head ... twice ... he was very short at the time and so the fall was minimal ... ahem ... the new baby sister grew up to be the lovely, sweet Auntia and she is practically perfect in every way ... but he has never shown any interest in holding a brand new baby since ... so this picture of him holding LuLu is a keeper...

happy birthday, baby boy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

jammies and fireworks and tutus, oh my!

saturday was a good day ... i cleaned house for a little bit (groan) and then i took a shower (sniff) and put on some clean jammies (love those jimmiejams) and started piecing the wintergraphix 2 fabric using Kim's Fireworks ... Auntia worked with her sheri berry fabric and Kim's pattern, too ... i had to stop piecing to work on some peekaboobies ( nursing covers) that i promised Mrs. Moth i would have finished by next friday ... and Auntia wandered off to read...
i like it ...i love it ... i want some more of it
...but i did manage to finish up the center this afternoon after we came back from singing happy birthday to Princess Itty Bitty of the TwoTwo...
princess itty bitty of the twotwo and her birthday balloon
...she did a little dance when we sang to her ... at least she recognized it as music......Little Nonnie was able to escape the care center and soak up some shade ... i feasted on cherry chip cupcakes with cherry frosting and little princess tiara stickums ...... Mr. Husker has been stockpiling hay and it was very sneezy Near Lyons ... i came back looking like Aloysius Snuffleupagus ...... the fields between here and there and back again are just about ready for harvest ...... today was a good day

Saturday, August 15, 2009


while we were shop hopping last saturday, i looked and looked and looked for wintergraphix 2 ... all of the shops had lovely christmas fabric, but my heart was set on the new wintergraphix ...... Auntia and i both loved last year's wintergraphix and bought kits for each other (when they went on sale) that were put together by The Quilter's Studio ... the kits are still in their party bags and are likely to stay there a while ...... i was sure that out of eight different shops, at least one of them would have the new fabric ... TQS had some of this year's fabric, but not the pieces that i was looking for ... the people in other shops had a deer in the headlights look when i asked for wintergraphix 2 ... anywho ... i came home empty-handed except for the other stuff that i bought wah wah wah ... Auntia was looking for have a sheri berry holiday and it was pretty much the same story - TQS had some of the pieces but not all of them - and she came home without buying any of her choices, either ... so she searched the internet and found yardage of both of the lines that we were looking for at Desperate Quilters ... i have made purchases from Desperate Quilters before and i absolutely love them ... they carry complete lines of fabric at reasonable prices ... their customer service is beyond belief - the one time that i had a problem with an order it was corrected within 24 hours with an apology and no excuses ... they never over-charge on shipping and there is always a free goodie in the package when it is delivered ... and i love the name ... desperate quilters, indeed ... so we ordered our fabric on sunday (before i went into batik panic) and it arrived on wednesday ... it is washed and pressed and ready for the magic to happen ...... we were supposed to work on Buggy Barn blocks (if the hat fits for me and crazy flakes for Auntia) while Kim is teaching her Buggy Barn class today ... but i don't have everything that i need for my blocks, so we are gonna do fireworks instead...pretty, innit?!?

p.s. - Gran is hosting a giveaway of 30's fabrics ... go check out her blog! she has recipes and stories and embroidery and a lovely, sweet attitude!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

cash crop

we saw this beautiful field of sunflowers on the way to longmont last saturday...
...they are especially pretty with the rocky mountains in the background......sunflowers are Auntia's favorite flower so i drove back the same way so she could take some pictures......and it is so cool how they follow the sun throughout the day......there were lottsa fields of wheat and corn and cabbages, too ... but i am glad that sunflowers are a cash crop ... they are so cheery... and sunflower oil is a very good thing, innit?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RMFQSH freebies

there were freebies at some of the shops on the Rocky Mountain Fever Quilt Shop Hop and this was my favorite......isn't that just pretty doggone cool? it is a golf tee with a little round magnet hot-glued to the top of it ... the part of the tee that pokes into the ground goes into a bobbin and then into a spool of thread ... and the magnet holds your needle or pins ... they were a gift from High Prairie Quilts ...... each shop had a free copy of the pattern for their own star (or a kit for $10 each) and at the end there was a layout sheet for putting the kits together ...... The Great American Quilt Factory was handing out little tape measures ...... Harriet's Treadle Arts had homemade cookies and i ate two of the best snickerdoodles ever and postcards announcing the first two books that Harriet and Carrie Hargrave are publishing (very soon) of the Quilter's Academy series...
...and there were some miscellaneous coupons and newsletters ...... at the last shop we received our free commemorative pins for having all eight shops stamped on our passports...
...the stamped passports also served as entries to some drawings for giveaway baskets and gift certificates ...... i am still waiting for Auntia to post her treasures ... she did buy some pretty cool stuff ...... for anyone who is curious about the witch pattern that i regretted leaving behind ... the designer is Happy Hollow Designs and she is called a stick witch ... i couldn't find her on the design company's website ... but you can get the pattern and the embellishment kit here ...... and now i'm gonna go watch Hell's Kitchen - i haven't heard Chef Gordon Ramsey throw any eff bombs in the past seven days and i wanna know who will be the next f@C%ing stupid donkey

Monday, August 10, 2009

electric needles and batik panic

i went back to Harriet's Treadle Arts yesterday to take a picture of their version of the Rocky Mountain Fever Quilt Shop Hop quilt and to order some of the hop's batiks...i took a close up of the sign...when i read the first few lines i thought an electric needle?!? i gotta get me one of those!!! and then i read the rest and decided that i already have one or two electric needles ... anywho ... unfortunately Harriet's wasn't taking orders for the batiks and i ended up buying a couple of quilty cards and a fat quarter of a green batik that i think will work for Mr. Husker's fishes ... then i took off for Tomorrow's Heirlooms because i was sure they were taking orders and because they tear fabric instead of whacking it off the bolt with a rotary cutter (i lose lottsa fabric inches that way - the worst was a total of 8 inches to get the fabric squared up - sheesh) ... both shops had calmed down considerably - there were still a few shop hop stragglers but not the dozens and dozens like the day before ... Auntia had decided that she wanted the very light multi-colored and i wanted the dark green ... so i was prepared to order a total of 5 yards and take my chances on the other five colors when they came in ... but then i found out that if i wanted any of the batiks that the order had to be placed and paid for by store closing yesterday afternoon and i got kinda panicky ... i had been so very, very good at not impulse buying all weekend that it must have made me explode because i ordered 2 yards of each of the different colors, plus extra of the dark green and the very light multi for a total of 15 yards of fabric ... holy crap - what was i thinking?!?
well ... i'll tell you what i was thinking ... i was thinking ARGHHH! this fabric is NEVER gonna be available again!!! this is a once in a lifetime opportunity!!!
my brain went whoosh!!!
and the credit card went swish!!!
and i walked out of the store in a hazy daze ... and then i drowned my sorrows in a raspberry iced tea and smothered my shame with a grilled chicken burrito from Qdoba (is it just me or does $5.99 seem like a lot of money for a burrito?)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

a celebration of stars

the theme for this year's Rocky Mountain Fever Quilt Shop Hop was stars ... the shops designed a Colorado-themed batik (exclusive to the eight shops in the hop) that is used in the shop hop quilt...
this is a fat quarter of the dark green variation - it had to come home with me
...with pine cones and aspens and columbines ... Colorado's state tree is the Colorado Blue Spruce - the pine cones do NOT look like a spruce tree's cones, but they DO look like the ponderosa and lodgepole pines that are dying on a massive scale in Colorado's pine forests from beetle-kill ...... our autumn color is gold - aspen gold - the mountain sides are covered with great splashes of gold mixed among the pine green and even natives make the journey to see the glorious display of color in late september ...... our state flower is the Rocky Mountain columbine (Aquilegia caerules) and our state song is Where the Columbines Grow (although in 2007 the Colorado General Assembly made John Denver's Rocky Mountain High the other official state song ... too bad they didn't spend more time working on the budget and less time pondering whether or not being high in Colorado is natural vs. drug-induced) ... it is sad that when people around the world hear "columbine" and "Colorado" they think of the high school massacre and not of the beautiful lavender and white flower ...... anywho, the batik is absolutely gorgeous ... and, for the most part, not available......we did find yardage of the multi-colored dark and light, and a bit of the light green ... but i wanted the dark green and it was sold out except for a few fat quarters at all of the shops ... everyone was taking orders ... which is good and bad ... if the dark green had been available i would have bought lots of it - at least four yards - on the spot ... but now i will have time to rethink and since i have no actual plans for the fabric maybe i won't be buying four or five yards after all ...... anywho, each of the shops designed a star in this quilt...this sample was at Creative Needle and was our favorite ... the quilt at Harriet's Treadle Arts was gorgeous, too
...and had kits or patterns available for each of their stars ... we went with the patterns and not the kits ... i am not a big fan of shop hop kits - there is no extra fabric to fix my mistakes ... most of the shops' samples were octagon shaped quilts that would have made a nice tree skirt or table topper ... but i wasn't all that crazy about the multi-colored batik (i really, really want the dark green) and i'm not liking of some of those color-combinations in the stars, either ... i didn't get a picture of the shop hop quilt at Harriet's Treadle Arts, but i do remember that it had a little sign attached that said it was not quilted on a longarm - it was hand stitched with an electric needle ... i'm gonna try to make it back there today so i can take a picture of it ...... Auntia has already updated her blog with pictures of the fronts of all the shops and our little stowaway ... she hasn't shown her new treasures ... so i guess i will wait to show mine, too ... i was much, much better at NOT going crazy with impulse buying ... the only thing that i wanted very, very, very much and walked away from was a pattern and the embellishments for a quilted witch that fit over a cardboard tube at The Great American Quilt Factory ... the shop is a long drive from Near Broomfield and i thought that if i left without it that i would be okay ... but now i think i will sign off this post and do a search for it

Friday, August 7, 2009

saturday sampler 3 and RMFQSH

the second meeting for saturday sampler 3 at The Quilter's Studio is just one day away and i actually have my first block ready ... on the second saturday of each month for the next year TQS's Sheri will teach/lead us through the construction of this is a Marti Michell design and uses the Perfect Patchwork Templates sets B and D that she has created ... the first block, rolling along, requires the use of five B templates and one D template...
...the fabric is cut one piece at a time (you can cut a strip the width of the template that you need if there are multiples - that shortens the amount of time spent cutting) with a rotary cutter ... the templates are thick and are precisely engineered ... there are no dog ears and the cut pieces line up exactly ... a modern day template miracle ... however i do not think that this method will replace strip cutting and piecing for me ... it is great for each one-of-a-kind sampler block but the cutting process is a bit time-consuming ...... Auntia and i decided that we would use stash to make the blocks (which are considered organized scrap style and not scrappy) and we were able to come up with nine coordinating fabrics times two quite easily ... as a matter of fact, it was kinda scary how many different choices we had without spending any money at all ... you can probably guess which one is mine ... hint - i don't do subtle ...... since Auntia started quilting, she has wiped out about 25% of my stash of fabric that i thought i couldn't live without - mom, are you planning to use this for anything? and this? and this? and how about this? and i usually hide my head in shame because i have no idea why i thought most of the stash was have to have ... she made this (Bonnie's mystery Carolina Crossroads) quilt for me from stash...
it is quilted with dolphins and whales and i love it ... she named it under the sea...
...we worked on the mystery together ... the quilt top that i made for her is still on the quilting frame ... she is much, much faster at actually completing quilts than i am ....... after the BOM meeting tomorrow morning we will head off to some Rocky Mountain Fever Quilt Shop Hop destinations ... there are eight shops participating this year ... with their extended hours for the shop hop we should be able to get to three of them tonight ... the rest are far, far away and it will probably take all afternoon to hop to the next three ... and then we'll hop the other two on sunday ... a weekend of quilt shop hopping - pictures to follow if i remember to bring the camera!!!

Elaine is having another Quilter's Stimulus Package giveaway at her blog - i dunno what it's gonna be, but if you love Hostess cupcakes as much as i do then you'll love the package it's gonna come in!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

wit or wit-out

no, i'm not talking about ordering a cheesesteak in philadelphia ...... after the 240 blocks for the Miss Melly block swap when i swore that i would never, never, never try to swap blocks with real quilters again because i am not up to playing with the big dogs so i oughta just stay on the porch i thought that making a dozen or so bat blocks for the Spooktacular block swap would be no big deal ... i figured i'd be able to find a variety of pieced blocks that with the right fabric looked like bats ... wrong! lots of applique designs (out of my league - my applique skills need a lot more practice) are out there, but i couldn't find anything pieced that looked like a bat to me ... so i had to figure out my own ... the only black fabric that i had to work with was a piece of flannel, so that's what i used for the prototype ... that attempt took some major tweaking and a wee bit of whining at Auntia what do you think? is this gonna be okay? does it look too weird? are you sure you would want this block in your quilt? and then i tried a bat out of polished cotton ... meh ... we decided that the creep factor was more enhanced with fuzzy flannel (ick) and i changed out the ears from a flying goose to prairie points (even ickier) ... eventually the bat blocks were to the almost finished stage and then i started wondering if i should sew on the eyes and the little vampire-bat teeth or leave them off ... the blocks look a lot like the bat signal without the eyes and teeth but they look kinda goofy with them...
so, whaddya think ... wit or wit-out?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

guest bloggers

today's post is brought to you by some of my very most favorite people in the whole wide world...and...and......they are all trying to outdo me with their slippers, but i know for a fact that flamingo slippers are the very, very best!